CAUTION: This post is not about self care. [[You’ve been warned]].
The differences between being a working wife and a schooling wife are vast. Many of those differences are associated with the consumption of your time. With most jobs (I am aware there are exceptions – i.e. teaching) your work ends when you close the door and go home. As a student, your homework never really ends… it’s always hanging over your head. And in nursing school, let’s be real… you’re never actually “caught up” one 100% of your assignments and readings. Managing the never ending stress is very important when you’re a wife because you do have to compartmentalize a little bit. It keeps your marriage strong and your grades up. Put down your stress for a minute a learn a few tricks to the trade.
I’m a junior in an RN, BSN program this year. You might already know about me that I took a break from school, and before starting this fall, managed to get two years of marriage under my belt.
Every marriage looks different, so this blog post is based on the roles I have assumed in my marriage. The ways I love my husband right now are to:
- Cook for him every night
- Make sure he has clean clothes for work
- Pack his lunch and snacks
- Maintain a home environment that he can rest in after a long day of labor
Keep that in mind as I share these life-changing secrets. Your part in your marriage may have completely different roles. And that’s okay.
⇒ Be intentional in your communication.
Running around screaming about how stressed you are doesn’t really help anyone. Even if you’re caught with a really messy house, two exams in the next 48 hours and a group project coming up; trust me, screaming and crying about it does nothing for your productivity. It stresses you and your partner out and doesn’t make you any more knowledgeable about Med-Surg. Be intentional in your communication about what is going on in your week. Your spouse doesn’t know your syllabus. Saying something like “Hey, so I have two big exams tomorrow. After that I have a free afternoon and I’m planning to get caught up on the dishes and laundry then. For now, if you need any clean clothes feel free to throw a load in, there’s nothing in the washing machine.” This is problem solving, graciously communicating your schedule and needs, and giving your partner a time-line for when he can expect things to get back to normal.
Make sure your partner knows what he can do to show you that he’s on your side. This goes further than “you can do it” and “I believe in you” and “you’re going to be a great nurse someday.” He can show he’s on your side by doing the small things that make your life easier. i.e. getting dishes into the sink instead of leaving them on the coffee table, putting his clothes in the laundry basket instead of leaving them on the floor. This is practicing what he’s preaching. Communicate that to him in a gracious way.
2. Take advantage of spontaneous time with your spouse.
Believe it or not, you can spare 15 minutes to lounge on the couch and get caught up. You can spare some time to be intimate. Otherwise, you are going to keep saying “I don’t have time, I can’t right now, maybe after this paper is done,” and as I mentioned earlier, this doesn’t help anyone. Taking time for intimacy (especially when it’s spontaneous) refuels your mind and your body with the hormones it needs to continue working hard. It’s refreshing and important.
3. Take time to reset whenever you need to.
Lately my resets have been happening during the week after a set of 3 classes, when my brain is maxed out. I’ll put on a podcast, deep clean my house and do some laundry. I know my brain is useless after learning for 5 hours straight. But my hands are very useful. If your house gets “reset” on a Tuesday afternoon, your evening will be marvelous and productive. (p.s. find out what a reset is here).
4. Have a very good planner and never leave the house without it.
This isn’t the case for everyone, but believe it or not, it is de-stressing for me to keep everything in one book. I take some down time to color-code and highlight, and it’s productive to abide by. I recommend a Passion Planner or Panda Planner. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something that you can easily customize, and that you can fit your whole world into. Make it fun and pretty to look at (if you’re into that sort of thing).
You cannot handle the schedule of a nursing student and the schedule of a wife if you don’t sleep. So, be okay with letting things go. You’re not going to read every chapter before every lecture. You’re not going to be able to get 1000% of everything done unless you plan on not sleeping. Personally, I make a general rule to have my textbooks closed by 8:30, lunches packed by 9pm, and teeth brushed by 9:30. Everything else that happens in that hour before bed you can find in my evening routine (which I will update soon). There are very few exceptions to this rule.
6. Use your studying breaks to do something with your hands.
When I have a long day of schoolwork, my favorite thing to do is to use my breaks in studying as cleaning breaks. This is honestly what I have found to be one of the only ways I can get everything done. I usually make a list for the day, and in between each assignment I write down what part of the house I’m going to attack while I’m taking a brain break. This is a GAME CHANGER on long day of schoolwork and housework. I’m telling you, it’s life changing. As simple as it sounds, it’s my key to success.
7. Sign off of social media.
I’m gonna keep this short and sweet because I’ll do something more detailed on it soon. Be honest. It’s a time sucker. Your cleaning breaks will be impossible if you have the temptation to open up Instagram. Just sign off. You’ll live. More to come on that.
Oh and incase you haven’t figure it out yet… a pumpkin spice latte on a very stressful morning… is life. Create a budget that allows for you to enjoy some of these things when you feel like you just can’t get through the day.
Trust the process. Trust yourself. Trust in God. This is an ATTACK on anxiety. A linear progression of your grades may not be happening. That’s okay. Some people call that nursing school. You will have days that you have a messy house. This about the grind. This is pushing through one day at a time.
You will be your very best.
You will rise.
You will conquer.
Love, Mally 🙂
Please reach out to me with questions, comments, postulates, laments, advice, or chocolate chip cookies.